Friday’s “tame the inbox,” Part 2

I’m back with more.

Did you know that Afghanistan was declared a gun-free zone?  Well, if you didn’t, you’re right.  But this is a great satire anyway.

Have you heard of a site called Patriotic Voices?  (I do seem to be full of questions, don’t I?)  It’s a forum for conservatives.  It’s got very attractive formatting and interesting content.  If you look at the main page, there are new posts, although people don’t seem to be commenting. However, if you go to the forum page, it’s quite busy.  Check it out and, if you feel so inclined, come back here and let us know what you think.

Although blacks, sadly, suffer the greatest number of gun homicides, their voices are surprisingly quiet when it comes to the Second Amendment debate.  Digital Publius, however, did weigh in and I like what he had to say.

And now, below the fold, some wonderful WWII posters.  Looking at them is a reminder that part of why we were unable to come to a satisfying conclusion with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is the fact that our government never fought the war at home.  I’m certainly not saying it should have silenced the opposition, which would have made a travesty of what America is all about.  However, Bush’s government never advocated for the war either.  The Bush administration, which was afraid to speak the enemy’s name, never educated Americans about why we fought and never made Americans feels that they had a vested interest in see us win.

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Supporting gun-control is racist

In America today, especially in America’s media, the worst thing you can call someone is “racist.”  In our Obama-era people who oppose Obama are racist; people who support the Constitution are racist; people who use the word “Chicago” are racist; people who comment about the president’s lean physique (unless they’re drooling female reporters) are racist; and –here’s the kicker — people who oppose gun control are racist.

Why is opposing gun control racist?  Because blacks are proportionately much more likely to find themselves at the wrong end of the gun in America than are whites.  Even though blacks comprise only 13% of the population, in 2007 alone black death rates due to guns were more than twice white death rates.  Put another way:

Black teenager boy killed by gun

Young black males die from gun violence at a rate 2.5 times higher than Latino males, and eight times higher than white males. Gun injuries are suffered by black teens at a rate ten times higher than white teens.

Guns are an extraordinary scourge within the black community — a fact that also explains why America’s gun homicides are (a) high and (b) unequally spread geographically.  A vast proportion of gun crime is inner city crime.

Given these appalling statistics — black men being mowed down by a plague of bullets — liberals say that anyone who doesn’t want to remove guns from the street is a fortiori a racist.  The logic is simple:  guns kill black people; Republicans, who are disproportionately white, resist any form of gun control; therefore Republicans hate black people.

The problem with the above liberal analysis is that it’s an entirely false syllogism.  Here’s the truth:  what’s killing black men is gun control.  Black men live in dangerous areas and we have disarmed them.

Don’t believe me?  The numbers back me up.

Chicago protest Don't shoot I want to grow up

Chicago is now, and has long been, a deadly city for blacks.  The sweetness and light of non-stop Democrat rule has done nothing to make it safer.  At a certain point in this deadly trajectory, Chicago Progressives made an announcement:  a lot of the people who died in Chicago died from gunshots.  Thinking simplistically, they decided that the next step was to get rid of the guns.  Chicago therefore enacted some of the most repressive gun-control in the nation.  Had the Democrat logic been correct, the “homicide by gun” rate in Chicago should have plummeted in the wake of this legislation.  As John Lott explains, the opposite was true:

Since late 1982, Chicago has banned the private ownership of handguns. Over the next 19 years, there were only three years where the murder rate was as low as when the ban started.

As shown in the forthcoming third edition of my book “More Guns, Less Crime,” before the ban, Chicago’s murder rate was falling relative to the nine other largest cities, the 50 largest cities, the five counties that border Cook county, as well as the U.S. as a whole. After the ban, Chicago’s murder rate rose relative to all these other places.

In other words, banning guns killed black men.

Chicago is not anomalous.  Washington, D.C., showed precisely the same pattern.  Here’s John Lott again, looking at the way the numbers are, rather than the way Progressives think they ought to be.  When Washington banned legal guns, murder rates (and that would be murder rates of black men) shot up:

Washington’s murder rate soared after its handgun ban went into effect in early 1977 (there is only one year while the ban was in effect that the murder rate fell below the1976 number and that happened many years later — in 1985). Its murder rate also rose relative to other cities. Washington’s murder rate rose from 12 percent above the average for the 50 most populous cities in 1976 to 35 percent above the average in 1986.

In 2008, fed-up citizens, aware of their rights under the Second Amendment, sued.  A fairly conservative Supreme Court looked at the Washington, D.C., law, and concluded that it did indeed violate the Constitution.  At this point, with the gun-control ban lifted, if the liberals had been right, even more young black men should have died.  But, says Lott, the numbers showed that the opposite happened:

When the Heller case was decided, Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty warned: “More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence.” Knowing that Chicago’s gun laws would soon face a similar legal challenge, Mayor Richard Daley was particularly vocal. The day that the Heller decision was handed down, Daley said that he and other mayors across the country were “outraged” by the decision and he predicted more deaths along with Wild West-style shootouts. Daley warned that people “are going to take a gun and they are going to end their lives in a family dispute.”

But Armageddon never arrived. Quite the contrary, murders in Washington plummeted by an astounding 25 percent in 2009, dropping from 186 murders in 2008 to 140. That translates to a murder rate that is now down to 23.5 per 100,000 people, Washinton’s lowest since 1967. While other cities have also fared well over the last year, D.C.’s drop was several times greater than that for other similar sized cities. According to preliminary estimates by the FBI, nationwide murders fell by a relatively more modest 10 percent last year and by about 8 percent in other similarly sized cities of half a million to one million people (D.C.’s population count is at about 590,000).

In words of one syllable (for any Progressives reading this): If you take guns from the good guys, bad guys kill them.

In Washington, D.C., and in Chicago, both good guys and bad guys were black.  When the Progressives told law-abiding black citizens that they would have to disarm, these same citizens died in greater numbers than before.  Keep in mind, too, that the gun ban also affected the bad guys.  Bans create black-market arms’ races, with the bad guys working hard to corner the market and, because they are working outside the law, having to compunction about  killing their competition.

The negative effects of gun control transcend race, of course.  In England, the BBC expressed genuine surprise when statistics showed that, despite a repressive ban on all types of guns, gun deaths increased:

A new study suggests the use of handguns in crime rose by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned.

The research, commissioned by the Countryside Alliance’s Campaign for Shooting, has concluded that existing laws are targeting legitimate users of firearms rather than criminals.

The ban on ownership of handguns was introduced in 1997 as a result of the Dunblane massacre, when Thomas Hamilton opened fire at a primary school leaving 16 children and their teacher dead.

But the report suggests that despite the restrictions on ownership the use of handguns in crime is rising.

At this point, people who are not blinkered by statist ideology and an irrational fear of guns are saying “Well, duh!” But the Leftists, God bless ‘em, are always driven by an unreasoning optimism that says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try imposing even more state control and spending more money.”

It doesn’t seem to occur to these Ivy League geniuses that exerting more control and spending more money make sense only if the gun ban sort of succeeded in the first place by slightly lessening gun-related homicides.  In that case, maybe trying harder might create greater benefits. However, if your actual outcomes are the exact opposite of the intended outcomes, it might occur to any rational person that you’re on the wrong track and should make a sharp, fast u-turn.

Lynching in the Democrat South

By the way, it’s reasonable to believe that, in America, the increase in black deaths isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Progressives have a long and ugly history of racism. In the years leading up to the Civil War, the Democrats were the party of slavery. In the years after the Civil War, right up until the Civil Rights Movement, they were the party of the KKK, lynchings, and Jim Crow. In the North, the Progressives weren’t crude enough to agitate for lynching. They aimed for scientific eugenics, with Margaret Sanger’s primary goal when it came to birth control being the eventual elimination of the black population. Abortion, which is one of Planned Parenthood’s primary services, also has a disproportionate effect on blacks.

And that brings us to gun control, the genesis of which wasn’t to prevent crime but was, instead, to disarm the black man:

The historical record provides compelling evidence that racism underlies gun control laws — and not in any subtle way. Throughout much of American history, gun control was openly stated as a method for keeping blacks and Hispanics “in their place,” and to quiet the racial fears of whites. This paper is intended to provide a brief summary of this unholy alliance of gun control and racism, and to suggest that gun control laws should be regarded as “suspect ideas,” analogous to the “suspect classifications” theory of discrimination already part of the American legal system.

Nowadays, I acquit modern Progressives of active genocide, but there’s no doubt that, by following in the footsteps of their racist forebears, they are having equally racist outcomes.

It turns out that there’s one way to stop gun-crime:  more legal guns that are in the hands of law-abiding, rather than law-breaking, citizens:

Luckily, some years ago, two famed economists, William Landes at the University of Chicago and John Lott at Yale, conducted a massive study of multiple victim public shootings in the United States between 1977 and 1995 to see how various legal changes affected their frequency and death toll.

Landes and Lott examined many of the very policies being proposed right now in response to the Connecticut massacre: waiting periods and background checks for guns, the death penalty and increased penalties for committing a crime with a gun.

None of these policies had any effect on the frequency of, or carnage from, multiple-victim shootings. (I note that they did not look at reforming our lax mental health laws, presumably because the ACLU is working to keep dangerous nuts on the street in all 50 states.)

Only one public policy has ever been shown to reduce the death rate from such crimes: concealed-carry laws.

Their study controlled for age, sex, race, unemployment, retirement, poverty rates, state population, murder arrest rates, violent crime rates, and on and on.

The effect of concealed-carry laws in deterring mass public shootings was even greater than the impact of such laws on the murder rate generally.

Concealed-carry works best in limiting the number of deaths in a mass murder scenario, but it also is very helpful in preventing crimes generally. A bad guy who thinks that the owner of House A might be armed is more likely to go to House B, as long as House B has this sign in the window:

No guns

Of course, if both Houses A and B have this sign in the window, I bet the bad guy will go away altogether:

NRA sign never mind dog beware of owner

So, the next time some condescending or faux-outraged Progressive asks you how in the world you can oppose gun control, tell him that it’s because, unlike him, you’re not a racist.

Has Obama lost the inner city?

I suspect this is a bump, not a groundswell, but it’s amazing nevertheless:  inner city blacks say that overwhelming government interference in the economy stifles the kind of economic growth their communities need:

(I removed the video, because the embed code is one of those annoying ones that makes the video play automatically.  Please check it out here, though, because it’s well worth seeing.)

It is worth keeping in mind that, at the end of the day, the only color that ever really matters is green — and that’s not environmental green, it’s dollar bill green.  Once people understand how to make the important green grow, they will follow the money.

An insight into Progressive beliefs about how voters’ minds work

John Hinderaker caught a very funny statement from Jen Psaki, who is one of the president’s official spokesmen. She was responding to a reporter’s question regarding the fact that PBS asked the Democrats to take down an add using Big Bird (emphasis mine):

We have received that request [from PBS]. We’re reviewing it. I will say it doesn’t change the fact that there’s only one candidate in this race who is going to continue to fight for Big Bird and Elmo, and he is riding on this plane.

You can just see the great minds of the Democrat party meeting to put together a checklist of ordinary voter concerns that they should be addressing.

Meeting Chairman:  Okay, folks.  It’s time to get to work.  With the president having tanked in his first debate, and the very real risk that Joe will implode in his only debate, we’ve got to get the president ready to talk about things that really matter to the American people.  I’m going to open the floor to suggestions:

Twenty-something young man:  Uh, what about young people’s concern about the deficit that they’ll have to pay for?

Chairman:  Not going to happen, We know they’re not thinking about that.  They just want sex, booze, and subsidies.  We’ve already tapped Hollywood to remind the demographic that the President is cool, and that he’s got their backs.

Thirty-something young woman:  The President needs to tell womyn that he’ll make sure that they get free birth control and abortions, as well as unrestricted access to tampons (which should be free too).

Chairman:  Again, not going to happen, Sandra.  Our internal polling shows that the Independents aren’t buying that argument.  Anyway, women know that Obama has got their back, and we’ve had Hollywood double down on its “Republicans will legalize rape” claims.

Black woman:  Should we talk about the fact that blacks are disproportionately affected by unemployment?

Chairman:  Our campaign funds and air time are too limited to do messaging on the way the President’s policies are good for African Americans.  American blacks know that Obama’s got their backs,  He’ll make sure that the government always supports them.

Jewish Guy:  Isn’t it time that the President made a strong statement about Israel?

Chairman:  We’ve polled that one, Shlmo, and it’s going nowhere in this election.  Let’s let sleeping dogs lie.

Palestinian Guy:  The president must talk about the continued slaughter and rape of the Palestinian people.

Chairman:  Calm down, Achmed.  We don’t need to do a strong message on this, because our base knows that the President has the Palestinian people’s backs.

Sex-changed gay transvestite:  I have two words:  Gay Marriage.

Chairman:  The president’s still evolving on that one until after the election, Pat.  Don’t worry.  You guys, gals and indeterminates know that the president has your backs.

Lone WASP guy:  What about the murdered ambassador in Libya, the head of security killed in Yemen yesterday, and all the other signs that al Qaeda is coming back?

Chairman:  Come on, Charlie.  The president has already explained that these are just highly critical movie reviews that got out of hand.  The public doesn’t need to hear more.  Al Qaeda knows that the President’s got its back.  Uh, misspoke there, Dude.  I meant that the American people and the American military know that the President’s got their backs.

Five year old attending meeting because she’s got a cold and her mom is still breast-feeding her:  Mommy, Mommy! I want my Tickle Me Elmo doll!!!

Chairman:  That’s it. Elmo!  Big Bird!  Protecting those icons from Republican attacks is the one thing we need to do in order galvanize those Independent voters.  It’s Mom, Apple Pie, Elmo and Big Bird.  Okay, folks!  Here’s the official line:  President Obama, Defender of Sesame Street!

 

W. Kamau Bell, Barack Obama, and black voters

There used to be an old joke that the Jewish vote pivoted on each Jew asking himself this question “Is it good for the Jews?”  Not a very nice stereotype, but probably a true one — and true for any group in America, whether white, WASP, Jewish, Catholic, Asian, Baptist, Hindu, etc.  What’s sad, though, is that the Left is telling blacks that they shouldn’t bother asking that question, probably because honest answer to “Is Obama good for American blacks?” would have to be a resounding “No!”

The Obama years have not treated blacks well.  A year ago, black unemployment was not only double white unemployment, it was also the highest it had been in twenty-seven years.  The only part of “Hope and Change” that blacks got out of this administration turned out to be small change . . . very, very small change.  Things have improved in the past year, but only slightly.  As of today, black unemployment stands at more than 14% — although President Barack “Nothing is my Fault” Obama claims that this failing is all the fault of state and local governments.  It might be time for the President to rummage through the White House attic and dig out Harry Truman’s old desk placard, the one that read “the buck stops here.”

Or maybe not.  W. Kamau Bell, who is Chris Rock’s anointed new voice of black social/political comedy.  Bell began one of his shows by replaying Biden’s now infamous Romney/Ryan will put “y’all back in chains” statement.  Bell made three points, none of which struck me as amusing, but all of which sounded quite honest:  (a) Biden shouldn’t have said  that; (b) Biden needn’t have said that, because blacks will vote for Obama regardless; and (c) it will help the Obama campaign if Biden stops pandering to a demographic that’s already in Obama’s pocket.

Despite the assurance that Obama owns the black body politic, Bell was, apparently, still a little worried.  You see, the problem isn’t that Biden thinks he’s black.  It’s the blacks might be thinking that Obama isn’t black enough.  Bell’s responsibility, therefore, is to promise blacks that Obama is not an Oreo:

I actually appreciate Bell’s honesty. He’s straightforward about the actual Obama campaign theme for 2012, which is “Vote for me because I’m black(ish).” Still, I think it’s terribly said that we’ve gone from having voters ask themselves (selfishly, but truthfully) “Is this candidate going to be good for my social/racial/ethnic/religious group?” to insisting that voters ask themselves only whether the candidate has enough melanin not to be considered white.  Once that question is out there, the candidate not only isn’t good for a given social/racial/ethnic/religious group, he’s not good for America either.

 

The difficulties for America in having a truly black president

Morgan Freeman, a man who lets his periodic acting roles as God and other authority figures go to his head, has now announced that it’s okay to castigate Barack Obama, because Obama isn’t really black.  Instead, he’s half white.

It seems cavalier at this junction to point out that Morgan Freeman’s pale coffee skin puts him in the same situation as Barack Obama:  Freeman obviously has white DNA floating around in there too.  Guess we can knock him off the list of “African-American actors.”  He’s a somewhat-white American actor.

The truth that no one the so-called black community, or in most of the white community, wants to acknowledge, is that American blacks aren’t black in that way that, say, African blacks are.  I’m not talking about culture, either.  I’m talking about genetic legacy.  You only have to look at American blacks to realize that, somewhere in the bloodline, there’s white DNA.  It’s a pathetic commentary on the systemic rapes black women experienced in America’s history, but it’s also a genetic fact.

If you want a “black-black” president, you have to get a first generation American kid, both of whose parents came from Africa — and who can prove that no white genes ever touched their family trees.  That’s easier to do in Africa than America.  But then you have to ask — how “authentically” black is that young person going to be in the house of those sort-of-black, somewhat-white Americans who populate the halls of the Democrat party?

I’ve got smart friends and they send me interesting things

It’s a family stuff day, so blogging has been light, and will continue to be so.  Fortunately, I’ve got friends who send me interesting things which I am so happy to pass on to you.  In no particular order:

Wolf Howling has written a fascinating, scholarly dissertation examining the adversarial history of faith and socialism, and the way that history quite logically to Obama’s current fight with religious organizations over funding for abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization.

Samuel Jackson and Barack Obama are two minds with but a single thought:  Make voting easy by examining your skin color and, if it’s dark, vote accordingly.  Samuel Jackson, in a profanity-laced interview, freely admits that he couldn’t have cared less about the type of governance Obama would bring to the White House.  The only thing that mattered was his color.  That’s just one person.  Our dear (black) leader — and, yes, his color is an important point in this post — has prepared an entire video imploring black people to vote for him because he’s black:x

As the friend who sent me this asked “I wonder what the backlash would be if Mitt Romney started a Mormons for Mitt campaign?”

Rhymes with Right suggests that the Catholic Church go medieval over ObamaCare [link fixed].  I think he’s right.  Citizens in America are free to make decisions that implicate their religion — and the religion is free to make decisions right back.  What cannot happen in America, however, is precisely what Obama is doing, which is to interject the state into the relationship between the religion and its followers.

Lastly, one of my oldest and dearest blog friends, Patrick O’Hannigan, looks at the Komen versus Planned Parenthood kerfuffle.  I say “legitimate,” because they are both private organizations, as opposed to a government organization versus a religion.  Within the context of the fight itself, of course, I think Planned Parenthood’s position and strategy are both entirely illegitimate and, as Patrick carefully explains, Komen, before it caved, was in the right.

With the 2012 election heating up, it must be “cry racism” season again

Despite the fact that Republicans are currently busy working the circular firing squad, making outside efforts to destroy them somewhat redundant, the Progressives/Democrats/Media/Usual Suspects aren’t taking any chances about the November 2012 election and have already brought out the big gun:  They’re crying racism.

The racism claim that got the biggest headline this week is the study that purports to show that conservatism, racism and stupidity are a package deal.  If you’re conservative, you must be racist and stupid.  If you’re stupid, you must be racist and conservative.  And if you’re racist, you must be stupid and conservative.

Cedric the Entertainer — well known racist (and idiot and conservative?)

Hold in your mind for a second that last thought:  If you’re racist, you must be stupid and conservative.  Racism, of course, means to hold a negative belief about someone, or to insult someone, based solely upon their race (although I’ll have more on that definition in a minute).  That being the case, how do the usual suspects account for the fact that Cedric the Entertainer, that noted Progressive, launched a foul mouthed attack against a black woman — which focuses solely, and negatively, upon her race, a race that happens to be African American?  And no, as is so often the case when I’m talking about lunacy from the Left, I’m not kidding.  As John Nolte says

Crystal Wright is an accomplished commentator and writer who holds a  Masters from Georgetown. But she just happens to be black and female and Republican, so therefore …. this gets fired out to nearly a quarter of a million people:

African-Americans, especially African-American women, pay a very high price for stepping off the Progressive plantation.

It’s going to get worse, too, before it gets better, and that’s because the Left is now taking the Orwellian position of remove race from racism entirely, so as to ensure that all conservative words or acts can be properly castigated as racist, justifying ostracism, insults and reeducation.  Incidentally, I understand that the preceding sentence makes no sense, but that’s not my fault.  When Newspeak controls the discourse, the issue isn’t sense, but censorship or, more specifically, getting conservatives to shut up:

Color Blind Racism” was the title of a recent article in the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on-line publication, The Root.  Henry Louis Gates, Jr. last appeared on this blog for his outrageous charge of racism against a policeman for following protocol, and The Root was last mentioned on this blog for its list of blacks whom they would like to see erased from history.  The list was a who’s who of murders, cannibals and despicable people, and included both Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and right wing black politician Alan Keyes.

So what is “color blind racism?”  According to The Root, it is “a racial ideology that expresses itself in seemingly nonracial terms. As such, it is most practiced by people who never see themselves outside their own myopic worldview. ”  What that means in practice is a redefinition of racism from its actual meaning, a belief that a particular race is inherently inferior, into a wholly new arena, where, mirabile dictu, criticism directed towards blacks, and indeed, the mere mention of any inconvenient fact, is inherently racist.  The “Orwellian term, ‘color blind racism.’” is, as James Taranto at the WSJ describes it, “the pithiest summation we’ve ever encountered of the absurdity of contemporary left-liberal racial dogma.”

Read the rest here, so that you can fully understand the brave new world in which you are about to live.  George Orwell wouldn’t have been proud — since what he feared has come to pass — but Big Brother would have been very proud indeed.

No more smiles from George Orwell in our Newspeak world

Race and protest movements *UPDATED*

It’s not only conservatives who have noticed that the waning OWS movement was pretty much whiter than white.  Black activist preachers have noticed the same thing and are trying to mobilize their congregants to get out there to camp on sidewalks like homeless people along with the white drug-addicted, violent OWSers:

The Rev. Harold Mayberry stood before his First African Methodist Episcopal Church congregation Sunday morning in Oakland and outlined how it was time for members to connect with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Nationally, many African American leaders have acknowledged a disconnect between the Occupy Wall Street movement and the larger black community.

Mayberry is among nearly two dozen prominent African American Bay Area pastors trying to bridge that gap at the community level through a growing national effort that is ramping up today – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – called Occupy the Dream.

[snip]

“This is a great leap forward to involve local pastors,” said James Taylor, an associate professor of political science at the University of San Francisco and an expert in African American studies. “The general critique of Occupy is that it has lacked a specific agenda. But this could be a sign of maturity for the movement.”

In February, the pastors will ask their congregants to withdraw a small amount of money – at least $30 – from their bank accounts and deposit it in either a credit union or a minority-owned bank.

If that symbolic move doesn’t get the attention of “Wall Street banks,” as Mayberry described the nation’s largest financial institutions, then in March, Occupy the Dream will ask larger African American-dominated institutions, churches and black professionals to begin transferring greater amounts to credit unions.

“I ain’t got no problem with people becoming millionaires – I wouldn’t mind joining the club myself,” Mayberry told his congregation. “My problem is when you are so insensitive to people who have not been able to raise themselves up to the level where you are – and you snuff out their dreams.”

I just heard from a friend who lives in and functions in the welfare/drug community.  (I’m not kidding when I say that I have contacts in all walks of life.)  There’s a black market of food stamps there. My friend is dining on roast beef tonight because another friend traded his food stamps with him for weed.  All these people have a few things in common:  they’re white; they’re drug users (mostly post); they rely heavily on welfare programs because of their drug use, whether we’re talking about impairment from actively using drugs or from decades of past drug use; and they support the OWS movement.  They are explicit that they see OWS as a way to ensure a continued flow of welfare benefits.

Is this really the milieu to which black pastors want to sink their congregants?

UPDATE:  This video of Valerie Jarrett giving a rousing political speech at a historically black church (after which the church hosted a voter registration guide) seems apropos.  At least Michelle Obama limited her black voter drive speech to the BET awards, a venue that doesn’t get the tax benefits extended to a church.

Newt Gingrich, poor children, and work habits

One of the reasons a lot of people, myself included, like Newt is because he says politically incorrect things that ordinary people think.  In other words, his politically correct utterances aren’t out of the KKK playbook, they’re out of “the reasonable common-sense before 1960s Leftist education took over” playbook.

A week ago, he said that child labor laws are stupid insofar as they prevent children from getting paying jobs (including janitorial jobs) that would help them to maintain their own schools — at less cost, incidentally, than using unionized janitors.  His most recent utterance, expanding on this point, was that poor children have no work ethic:

“Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday,” Gingrich claimed.

“They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash unless it is illegal,” he added.

All the usual suspects are up in arms.  I haven’t bothered to hunt down quotations from the unions that keep schools supplied with janitors, but I’m sure they’re not happy.  More than that, though, Newt’s statements have been interpreted to mean that he advocates a return to 19th Century child labor, complete with seven-day work weeks, 12 of which are spent laboring in a coal mine.  Take a gander, for example, at this screen shot from YouTube after I searched up “Newt Gingrich poor children”:

Charles Blowhard, New York Times opinion columnist, is horrified that Newt might look at the way in which the poor behave and conclude that their learned behavior contributes to their poverty.  He also comes back with reams of statistics about the fact that the poor do work:

This statement isn’t only cruel and, broadly speaking, incorrect, it’s mind-numbingly tone-deaf at a time when poverty is rising in this country. He comes across as a callous Dickensian character in his attitude toward America’s most vulnerable — our poor children. This is the kind of statement that shines light on the soul of a man and shows how dark it is.

Gingrich wants to start with the facts? O.K.

First, as I’ve pointed out before, three out of four poor working-aged adults — ages 18 to 64 — work. Half of them have full-time jobs and a quarter work part time.

Furthermore, according to an analysis of census data by Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociologist at Queens College, most poor children live in a household where at least one parent is employed. And even among children who live in extreme poverty — defined here as a household with income less than 50 percent of the poverty level — a third have at least one working parent. And even among extremely poor children who live in extremely poor areas — those in which 30 percent or more of the population is poor — nearly a third live with at least one working parent.

I’ll accept as true the fact that the poor work, but that’s too facile.  We also need to look at their attitude towards work.  As Shakespeare would say, there’s the rub.  Let me quote from a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, describing the way in which a white liberal tried desperately to explain away the fact that large corporations find it extremely difficult to keep minority employees:

Mr. Bookworm works for a very large corporation.  While we were in the car with the kids, the conversation turned to the exquisite sensitivity the corporation has to show when it’s faced with firing a minority employee. The process is arduous, requiring huge HR involvement, dozens of staff interviews and a lengthy paper trail.

The reason for this labor intensive firing is the unfortunate fact that minorities tend to be less satisfactory employees. As Mr. Bookworm was at great pains to point out to the children (and correctly so), this is a group trend and has nothing to do with the merits of any individual minority employee. It’s just that, if you look at a bell curve of minority employees versus a bell curve of white employees, you’ll find more white employees than minority employees in the segment denoting “good worker.” No modern corporation, however, wants a reputation as a “firer of minorities.”

The above are facts. What fascinated me was the different spin Mr. Bookworm and I put on those facts. Mr. Bookworm sent twenty minutes explaining to the children that, to the extent blacks were poorer employees, it was because their culture made them incapable of working. (This was not meant as an insult. He was talking, of course, about the culture of poverty.).

Mr. Bookworm painted a picture of a black child living in a ghetto, with a single mother who gave birth to him when she was 14, with several siblings from different fathers, with a terrible school, surrounded by illiterates, hungry all the time, etc.  No wonder, he said, that this child doesn’t bring to a corporation the same work ethic as a middle class white kid.

This creates big problems for corporations.  A modern corporation truly wants to hire minorities.  Once it’s hired them, though, according to my liberal husband, it ends up with workers who are incapable of functioning in a white collar, corporate environment. The corporation therefore finds itself forced to fire it’s minority hires more frequently than white or Asian employees, with the result that it’s accused of racism. Its response to that accusation is to proceed with excessive caution and extreme due diligence whenever a black employee fails at the job.

My suggestion to the children was that minority employees, aware that it’s almost impossible to fire them, might be disinclined to put out their best efforts on the job.  Why should they?  Logic and energy conservation both dictate that a smart person should do the bare minimum to get a job done.  In this case, for the black employees, the job their doing isn’t what’s in the job description.  Instead, their job is simply to keep their job.

Amusingly Newt thinks exactly the same as my liberal husband does.  They both blame black culture for poor black employment habits.  The difference is that, while Newt thinks it’s a fixable situation, starting with the children and their attitude toward labor, my husband, like Mr. Blowhard, thinks that all one can do is accept that minorities are going to be lousy employees.

America’s black poverty culture (as opposed to the Asian or East Indian) poverty culture is handicapped by a terrible, false syllogism:

  • Slavery was work
  • Slavery is evil
  • All work is evil

Even when they’re getting paid, too many African-Americans seem to feel they’ve sold out — that any work involving the white establishment is tantamount to slavery and that they can participate in this system by participating least.   It’s a principled stand, but it’s a principle that’s in thrall to terribly flawed logic and that ensures generational poverty and despair.  As far as I’m concerned, Newt gets serious kudos for his willingness to state what is, to the working class, quite obvious:  learn how to work well when you’re young, and you’ll be able to support yourself when you’re old.

Minority employees and “making it” in America

Mr. Bookworm works for a very large corporation.  While we were in the car with the kids, the conversation turned to the exquisite sensitivity the corporation has to show when it’s faced with firing a minority employee. The process is arduous, requiring huge HR involvement, dozens of staff interviews and a lengthy paper trail.  

The reason for this labor intensive firing is the unfortunate fact that minorities tend to be less satisfactory employees. As Mr. Bookworm was at great pains to point out to the children (and correctly so), this is a group trend and has nothing to do with the merits of any individual minority employee. It’s just that, if you look at a bell curve of minority employees versus a bell curve of white employees, you’ll find more white employees than minority employees in the segment denoting “good worker.” No modern corporation, however, wants a reputation as a “firer of minorities.”

The above are facts. What fascinated me was the different spin Mr. Bookworm and I put on those facts. Mr. Bookworm sent twenty minutes explaining to the children that, to the extent blacks were poorer employees, it was because their culture made them incapable of working. (This was not meant as an insult. He was talking, of course, about the culture of poverty.). 

Mr. Bookworm painted a picture of a black child living in a ghetto, with a single mother who gave birth to him when she was 14, with several siblings from different fathers, with a terrible school, surrounded by illiterates, hungry all the time, etc.  No wonder, he said, that this child doesn’t bring to a corporation the same work ethic as a middle class white kid.

This creates big problems for corporations.  A modern corporation truly wants to hire minorities.  Once it’s hired them, though, according to my liberal husband, it ends up with workers who are incapable of functioning in a white collar, corporate environment. The corporation therefore finds itself forced to fire it’s minority hires more frequently than white or Asian employees, with the result that it’s accused of racism. Its response to that accusation is to proceed with excessive caution and extreme due diligence whenever a black employee fails at the job. 

I suggested to the children that something different than downtrodden black culture might be going on. Past generations of immigrants in America labored under the same handicap as the current generation of blacks (and, I guess, Hispanics).  Irish Catholics, Jews, Italians, Poles — no matter the label, you could spell out for them the same sorry tale Mr. Bookworm told about the hypothetical black kid, a story of poverty, parental illiteracy, poor schools, hunger, etc.

The difference, I told the kids, was that, back in the day, neither laws nor popular culture affirmatively protected these people. They were barred from the universities, banks, and law firms. Their response was to be better and work harder.  They carved out new industries (e.g., Hollywood.)  They made themselves more American than all the other Americans put together. They made their entrance into the mainstream a fait accompli.  

At this point, I interrupted myself to ask the kids a question:  You’re taking a class that you don’t really like, but you want to get an “A”.  Do you work as hard as you possibly can, or do you do the bare minimum to get by?  I got a resounding “Duh!” from both kids. “Of course you do the bare minimum.”

“Okay, then. Why don’t we give blacks credit for being smart, not helpless. Since they know that, once they’re through the door, it’s virtually impossible to fire them, why should they do more work than they have to?  Just as you wouldn’t work any harder for an ‘A’ than you need to in a class you don’t particularly like, why should they work any harder for job security in a job they don’t particularly like?  That’s not helpless thinking; that’s smart-allocation-of-personal-resources thinking.” 

And no, that doesn’t mean that all blacks are bad employees. There are a gazillion blacks out there who work hard because they want to, because they like to, or because it’s the right thing to do — which is precisely why whites work hard.  But there are clearly also a lot of blacks out there who neither like nor want to work hard, and they’ve figured out that a toxic combination of white guilt and fear of liability for workplace discrimination creates an out for them.  This doesn’t make blacks helpless and stupid. It makes them savvy marketplace consumers. 

The above discussion revealed another interesting difference in the way Mr. Bookworm and I look at the world. When I gave my Catholics, Jews, Irish, Italian, etc., example, Mr. Bookworm said that I was describing incrementalism, which has no validity today. 

What is “incrementalism”?  It’s the notion that success in Americ may be the work of several generations. This was the old pattern:  You, the immigrant, arrive at Ellis Island, illiterate, unable to speak English,  and a foreigner to the culture.  Unsurprisingly, you end up in a ghetto. Your children go to school.  They do not become CEOs, but they move into the working class — something that could never have happened in your own class-stratified, antisemitic or anti-Catholic or anti-Irish or anti-whatever home country. Your grandchildren thrn move into the lower middle class, or even the middle- or upper-middle class. In two or three, or maybe four, generations, your family has made it in America. 

Mr. Bookworm’s view is that this slow, upward trajectory is wrong. In today’s world, welfare, social policies and PC hiring practices should ensure that, not only is there a chicken in every pot, but every family should have a high level white collar worker just one generation out from poverty. I happen to believe that, while there will always be young people with drive and initiative who can make this leap, expecting it from the big part of the bell curve is ridiculous and impossible. Wrapping our educational, economic and social policies around this goal is a recipe for wasted money, ungainly government programs, personal failures, and class disappointment. In other words, it’s how we ended up with OWS. 

The illogical behavior and beliefs of the American Statist

“Logic! Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?” — C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Neither Data nor Mr. Spock, two relentlessly logical creations, could ever be liberals or Democrats or Progressives, or whatever the Hell else they’re calling themselves nowadays.  (For convenience, I’ll just lump them all together under the “Statist” title).  As I realized over the 20 plus years of my political journey from knee-jerk Statist to thinking Individualist, the single greatest difference between the two ideologies is that the former lives in a logic-free world.

Sure, as Statists will always shrilly point out, more Individualists than Statists subscribe to traditional religion — and the belief in God definitely requires a leap of faith — but that’s just about the only leap of faith in their lives.  Their political positions are almost always driven by a solid understanding, not only of human nature, but also of the realities of cause and effect.  Liberals, on the other hand, even as they pride themselves on the logic of their abandoning God (never mind that they cannot satisfactorily prove God’s nonexistence), apply magical thinking to just about everything else.

Here, in no particular order, is a laundry list of illogical policies espoused by Statists (with the understanding that modern statism is driven by identity politics and self-loathing):

Statists believe that America’s out-of-control illegal immigration has nothing to do with the fact that, when illegal immigrants sneak across the border, we provide them with education, health care, welfare, food stamps, and the promise that they will be allowed to remain in the country regardless of their unlawful status.  These same Statists, blind to the laws of cause and effect, are always shocked when temporary crackdowns result in a corollary (and, equally temporary) diminution in the number of illegal aliens.

Statists are wedded to the idea that government creates wealth.  To this end, they are bound and determined to use taxes to consolidate as much money as possible in government hands so that the government can go about its magical wealth creation business.  The fact that those countries that have all or most of their wealth concentrated in government hands have collapsed economically (Eastern Europe, Cuba) or are in the process of collapsing (Western Europe) doesn’t impinge on this belief.  As even my 10 year old and 12 year old understand, the government’s ability to print money is not the same as an ability to create wealth.  The best way for a government to create wealth is to ensure a level playing field with honestly enforced rules — and then to get out of the way.

Statists believe that no-strings-attached welfare has nothing to do with the creation of a welfare culture.  My father, the ex-Communist, figured this one out:  “If you’re going to pay women to have babies (meaning constantly increasing welfare benefits), they’re going to have babies.”  In 1994, a Republican Congress forced Clinton to change “welfare as we know it.”  To the Statists’ chagrin, all their dire predictions about weening Americans off the government teat proved false.  Poor people are not stupid people.  If they’re getting paid to do nothing, they’ll do nothing.  If that money vanishes, they’ll work.  By the way, I’m not arguing here against charity for those who cannot care for themselves.  I’m only railing against a political system that encourages whole classes of people to abandon employment.  This subject is relevant now, in 2010, because there is no doubt but that, Rahm-like, Democrats are using the current economic situation as a backdoor to increase welfare benefits to pre-1994 standards.

During the run-up to the ObamaCare vote, Statists adamantly contended that, even if employers would find it far cheaper to pay fines than to provide insurance coverage for their employees, they would still provide coverage.  Likewise, they refused to acknowledge that, if insurers could no longer refuse coverage for preexisting conditions, and if individual fines were cheaper than insurance, savvy consumers would jettison insurance and wait until they were actively ill before knocking on the insurer’s door.  In both cases, the Statists’ illogical beliefs about human nature and economics were proven absolutely and conclusively wrong.  (Info and examples are here, here and here.)

For decades, Statists have contended that if we can just get guns out of citizens’ hands crime will go away.  To the Statists, the problem isn’t one of culture and policing, it’s that the guns themselves cause crime.  What’s fascinating is that they continue in this belief despite manifest evidence that it is untrue.  The NRA was right all along:  If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Statists firmly believe that Individualists (a group that includes Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, and other “bitter” Americans), are an angry mob, primed and ready to explode against all non-white, non-straight, non-Christians.  They do so despite hard evidence that angry mobs, as opposed to scattered angry individuals, reside solely on the Left, anti-American side of the political spectrum.

Statist gays, who feel obligated to be Leftists because of identity politics, throw their wholehearted support behind Palestinians, whom they see as the beleaguered victims of evil Israeli imperialism.  They hold to this view despite the fact that Palestinians kills gays, and Palestinian gays regularly try to immigrate to the safe haven of Israel.  In the same way, Statist gays, hewing to their solid Leftist credentials, side with Iran against America, despite the fact that Iran is able to boast about the absence of homosexuals only because it routinely kills them.

Statist blacks, who feel obligated to be Leftists  because of identity politics, are deeply hostile to the police.  While there is absolutely no doubt that, in the past, police routinely harassed, arrested, and killed black people just for being black, we’re not living in the past anymore.  In modern America, the person most likely to kill a black person is another black person.  Blacks need police more than I do, sitting in my comfortable safe, suburbia — yet it’s here, in white suburbia, that our police force, which is largely decorative, is appreciated and admired.

American Statists believe that, if you placate a bully, he will see the error of his ways and become nice.  It didn’t work for Chamberlain in 1938, and I’m pretty damned sure it won’t work for us, whether the bully is Iran, Venezuela, China, Russia or any other totalitarian government intent upon expanding its power beyond its own borders.  I’m not advocating unbridled aggression our part.  That would mean we’re no better than the bullies arrayed against us.  I’m more of a Teddy Roosevelt, in that I’ll allow us to speak softly, as long as we carry a big stick.  Self-defense is not aggression — and sometimes you have to fight to defend a principle, a person, or a nation.

Statist women are silent, absolutely silent, about the condition of women across most of the Muslim world.  I think I’ll rename them “sadist” women, not “statist” women.

Statists tout as a quality Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan, who violated American law to bar the military from her campus because of Clinton’s don’t ask/don’t tell policy, but who cheerfully accepted millions of dollars and a chair from the same Saudis who murder homosexuals and treat women like 32nd class citizens.  There’s logic for you.

I opened this post with a quotation from C.S. Lewis regarding the absence of logic in education.  We can see the profoundly dangerous effect that lack of logic has on real world policies.  I’ll end with Tweedledee and Tweedledum opining on logic in a way that only a Statist could appreciate and understand:

“I know what you’re thinking about,” said Tweedledum: “but it isn’t so, nohow.”

“Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”